Thursday, March 27, 2014

A New Kids App! (With Extra Sprinkles)

Can you spot the new app?
With the one year anniversary of  Mystery Math Town right around the corner, I’m happy to announce a new early learning app we’re working on.

It’s called Drive About: Number Neighborhood.

As you may guess, the game gives the 5 and under crowd a license to cruise (and some basic math skills practice along the way).

We were hoping to launch sometime in April but it’s becoming increasingly clear that that just isn’t going to happen.

In the world of client contract work, we’d never let a deadline slip.

But when it comes to our apps, we just can’t resist the extra sprinkles syndrome that would stop a client on a budget in their tracks.

We can’t help ourselves because the extra sprinkles are exactly what make our apps special.

In the world of client work, we like to spec things pretty tightly up front to limit surprises downstream.

We do the exact opposite with our apps. Our own process tends to be more of a creative free-for-all.

Have you ever seen a bunch of little kids in a bouncy castle? That’s kind of our approach.

Once we know which bouncy castle we’re aiming for we dive right in.

If we spend all of our time refining specs, we’d never get to the best part which is making stuff.

And adding sprinkles.

The bottom line - making kids apps should be fun.

Drive About: Number Neighborhood will be ready for beta testing in April.

Let us know if you want to join the testing team.

You can also sign up for our newsletter and we’ll make sure you don’t miss anything.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Burn All Kids Apps!

Maybe you've seen the Cris Rowan call to ban handheld devices for all kids under 12 in the Huffington Post recently.

It's hysterical.

We much prefer the level-headed rebuttal by David Kleeman.

But if you look at the shares on the page, it can't be denied - hysteria sells.


I was skyping with Lis in Australia last night, talking about our new app in development, and I think we may have hit upon a new educational paradigm.

What we're proposing is revolutionary.

The more hysterical, the better.

Let's scare kids smart.

If you get the answer wrong, the cute animal GETS IT!

I can see the series titles now:

Scared Smart: Identifying Shapes and Patterns

Followed by…

Scared Smart: Addition and Subtraction

Of course, I'm joking.

We like kids and animals too much to scare them.

Monday, March 3, 2014

2014 Parents' Choice Award Winners - Mobile Apps
We're really pleased to announce that our Mystery Math Museum app won a Parents' Choice Award.

While perusing the list of 2014 winners, we were also pleasantly surprised to see that World's Worst Pet, the app we developed for Curriculum Associates, also won.

From the Parents' Choice Foundation:

As a Parents’ Choice Award® winner, you’re a member of a very select group. Fewer than 20% of the products submitted to the Parents’ Choice Awards program receive any level of commendation. It’s an honor that doesn’t come easily; you should be very proud of your achievement.

Indeed we are!